Another wonder from Smitten Kitchen – salad really can be that good!  It takes a bit of prep, but all steps can be done as far ahead as the day before, and remember that black kale works best in salads – enjoy!

Kale Salad with Panko, Pecorino and Pecans

1 bunch cleaned black kale, ribs removed and chopped into thin ribbons (3-4 c.)

2 T. EACH fresh lemon juice AND olive oil

1/2 c. freshly grated pecorino cheese

1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted

1/4 c. golden raisins

1 T. EACH vinegar AND water

1/4 c. panko crumbs

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/4 t. kosher salt

2 T. olive oil

freshly ground pepper and/or red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)

Put the prepped kale into a large salad bowl and pour the lemon juice and olive oil into a small container with a tight lid (I just give this a shake before applying, this is the ‘dressing’).  In a small pot, place the raisins, vinegar and water and bring to a simmer for a few minutes until the raisins have plumped – I then leave them to sit until they are cooled and put them into a container until I need them, all of the liquid is usually absorbed.

In a small skillet, place the panko, garlic, salt and olive oil and toast while stirring until the panko is golden and all of the olive oil is absorbed – again, leave this mix to cool.

Time it so that you toss the salad about 15 minutes before it’s going to be served so that all of the flavors have time to come together.  On the chopped kale, sprinkle the cheese, pecans, raisins and panko, give the salad a toss, shake the dressing and drizzle it on, then toss the salad again – add pepper and/or pepper flakes as you wish.  I’ve quadrupled this recipe and it still all disappears!

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